WHO Approves China’s Sinopharm to benefit global COVID-19 fight

Raphael Oni with Agency News

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday validated the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm for emergency use, a move widely welcomed by officials and experts worldwide and set to benefit the global fight against the pandemic.

This is a “great success and benefit for the world” because the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine validated by the WHO is proving very effective in countries including Pakistan where it is being administered, said Musarrat Amin, a Pakistani strategic security analyst.

The world right now is suffering due to COVID-19 and the Sinopharm vaccine is a blessing because of its easy storage requirements, which will make it a desirable vaccine for the low-income economies of the third world countries, Amin said.

“The Sinopharm vaccine being added into the WHO’s COVAX program is a huge relief for the third world countries,” she added.

COVAX is an initiative led by international partnerships and agencies, including the WHO, to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are distributed equitably.

The WHO’s emergency approval of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is “a step in the right direction” and is “a great attempt to help beat coronavirus in developing countries,” Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and Fatah’s Commissioner General for the Arab and Chinese Affairs, told Xinhua.

Prior to the WHO’s decision, the Chinese vaccine has already been used in dozens of developing countries, including Palestine, and “offers reassurance and comfort to developing countries as it is safe and effective,” Zaki said.

Bangladesh is very pleased to learn about the WHO decision to include the Chinese-made vaccine in the Emergency Use Listing, which surely comes as “a big blessing for the whole world in the fight against the deadly disease,” said Mushtuq Hossain, an advisor to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research under Bangladesh’s Health Ministry, in an interview with Xinhua.

He said Bangladesh’s drug regulator has already approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use in the country, and the decision of the WHO will further facilitate the vaccination of more Bangladeshis.

Brunei’s health ministry on Saturday shared the information of the WHO’s emergency use approval for Sinopharm vaccine with local media, asking for publication on respective platforms to let the public know that all vaccines used in the country have WHO endorsement and to encourage wider vaccination.

A report published recently on British journal Nature noted that such certification by the WHO could help “address the current shortfall in vaccines available through COVAX,” and potentially opens the door to “wide distribution in lower-income nations through the COVAX initiative.”

“For many countries, Chinese vaccines were the only accessible ones,” it wrote, adding that researchers in other countries such as Brazil, Turkey and Chile are “beginning to see evidence of their effect in controlling the pandemic.”

China has been fulfilling its commitment to making its COVID-19 vaccine a global public good “at a time when the vaccine shots are not available in many places or being nationalized,” Amin said. 


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